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Best Ways to Monitor IPOs

Best Ways to Monitor IPOs Romeo DiBattista Jr.png

An initial public offering (IPO) is the process a private corporation offers shares to the public for the first time. New companies that are concerned with growing will often use IPOs to gain useable capital. Organizations that have been around for longer may opt to allow an owner to sell their shares to the public as well.

A major reason for investing in an IPO is due to the possibility of buying an underpriced stock before it rises in price. Therefore, it is important for investors to have a method of tracking new IPOs to take advantage of any opportunities.

Below is a list of several websites that can be used to track IPO data.

Exchange Websites

Exchange websites can be reliable fonts for new IPO information. Websites such as Nasdaq and New York City Stock Exchange have a section dedicated to upcoming IPOs. These sites are known to be very reliable as they take their data from official sources.

IPO Monitor

This site is dedicated to IPO tracking. It does this by providing specific information and news regarding IPOS such as IPO withdrawals, IPO following, and high performing companies. While it’s a subscription-based service, this is a good tool that anyone can use.

IPO Scoop

Another paid subscription service, this site provides many of the same services as IPO Monitor. As an alternative to its competition, IPO Scoop is a viable option to track public offerings. This site also provides information on IPO withdrawals, IPO following, and so on.

Google News

Beyond stock changes, Google also provides a vital service to the market. Generally speaking, the press is what moves money around, and Google News provides an easy way to keep up on upcoming IPOs. Google makes it simple to do this by signing into an account and creating news alerts for a specific term. This sends news as soon as it comes out to the inbox to be viewed at the account holder’s leisure.

Yahoo Finance

Yahoo maintains a finance section in addition to its search engine. Better yet, this free service provides a dedicated IPO section. This area contains pertinent information such as IPO dates, prices, and symbols with links to IPO profiles. Furthermore, Yahoo Finance has a system that keeps track of past IPO performance.


IPOs to Look Out for in 2019

IPOs to Look Out for in 2019 Romeo DiBattista Jr.png

In this article, we explore the IPOs anticipated to go public and make a big impact in 2019. In 2018 there was a burst of initial public offerings; however, 2019 looks even more alluring. There’s a handful of multibillion-dollar companies expected to go public. The following are the hottest upcoming IPOs to keep an eye on in 2019.

To no surprise, Uber is high on the list as one of the upcoming IPOs in 2019. Uber has confidentially filed to go public with the Securities and Exchange Commission early December. Uber’s goal is to beat their rival Lyft to Wall Street. Uber is expected to go public by the first half of 2019. Potential IPO valuation is expected at $120 billion.

Next on the list is Uber’s rival Lyft. Lyft isn’t just competing Uber with ride sharing, but they’re also competing them with the first to adopt self-driving cars and thus reducing labor costs in the hopes to break even. Lyft is also planning to go public in the first half of 2019. In fact, Lyft coincidentally confidentially filed to go public on the same day back in December. Lyft definitely has some major backers, which include General Motors Co., Alphabet, Icahn Enterprises and Fidelity. Lyft’s potential IPO valuation is estimated at $15 billion.

The third on the list is Airbnb. Unlike the two previous companies, Airbnb is reportedly pondering a “direct listing.” This move will cut out Wall Street underwriters and sell shares straight to the public. The negative side of this move is that the company doesn’t earn any of the proceeds. This approach allows insiders to cash out. The potential 2019 IPO valuation is estimated to be at $31 billion.

Finally, coming in at fourth is the company Slack. Slack is a hot startup company that is rushing to go public by the end of the year. Slack is a workplace messaging app. As they’re prepping to go public, they hired Goldman Sachs to assist with lead underwriting duties. Their daily users are impressive, boasting 8 million total users and 3 million paying subscribers in mid-2018. Since Slack is a messaging app, they do face strong competition from Microsoft, Alphabet, Cisco Systems and Facebook. Slack’s 2019 IPO estimated at $10 billion.


Is Kickstarter Right For Your Business?

Is Kickstarter Right For Your Business_ Romeo DiBattista Jr.png

It seems as if the news and other media outlets are full of crowd-funding success stories. An individual or group has an idea, then markets that idea through platforms such as Kickstarter, to get the capital needed to materialize that idea, bringing it forth from the ether. Unfortunately, the stark reality is that these stories create a false hope that anyone with a computer and a dream can crowd-fund their way into success.

The numbers tell a shockingly different story from news outlets. Only 45 percent of crowd-funded projects ever meet, or potentially exceed, their goals. Of that 45 percent, 29 percent are for projects with an eye for less than $10,000. Only 4 percent reach goal between $20,000-$100,000, and in excess of $100,000 a measly 0.9 percent. That means that 55 percent of all Kickstarter campaigns do not reach or exceed their goal.

Unfortunately, that’s only half of the equation. There are fees to consider, such as Kickstarter’s 5 percent, then markdowns, and finally, rewards offered to backers. To better succeed, Kickstarter suggests making a video for potential backers to view. This can be a costly endeavor. Then there’s the cost for social media expenses to advertise your campaign as well. All of these fees and costs can eat into profits, which can then eat into the capital that was initially needed to start the business in the first place. That can lead to delayed start times.

Approximately 25 percent of all fully-funded campaigns through Kickstarter will deliver on time. That means that 75 percent of fully-funded campaigns experience delays. This places an impact on potential customers impacted before the product has even reached them. This can affect brand loyalty and disrupt the necessary customer-base for the product being sold.

This is not to say that Kickstarter is not useful in its own right. Crowd-funding can allow small businesses with big dreams spread the word about their product. It can be a useful tool if combined with the necessary legwork and effort required to get a business from an idea to reality. However, solely relying on crowd-funding is a dream riddled with pitfalls. A potential business needs a plan of action. Having goals, meeting those goals in a timely fashion without the reliance on crowd-funding platforms, and channeling hard work and dedication into delivering a fantastic product is all a business really needs to succeed.


Ways to Invest in Foreign Countries

Ways to Invest in Foreign Countries Romeo DiBattista Jr.png

Investing in foreign countries can be a very attractive option. Emerging markets can offer great returns. As more countries around the world industrialize, there are very exciting opportunities becoming available there. Of course, there can also be great risk with these investments.

However, foreign investment is a great way to diversify a portfolio. Foreign markets are often up when Canadian markets are down, and vice versa. This means that investing overseas can help Canadian investors ride out domestic recessions. This is one of the most important reasons to consider investing abroad.

There are great options for investing abroad, too. There are over a dozen other stock markets worth looking at around the world. Today, many of the biggest natural gas, oil, and steel companies in the world are located outside of North America. Investing overseas can mean getting in on a rising Standard Oil type company.

Of course, when investing abroad, it’s important to think about issues abroad. Some developing countries have real problems with political and economic stability. This is typically called country risk. Staying abreast of international politics can be a great idea to keep invested funds safe. It’s always important to know what is going on with investments overseas.

One easy way to invest in foreign countries is to use ADRs. These are traded on the NYSE and NASDAQ. This makes it more accessible for Canadians who are used to trading on US markets. Differences in currency exchange are another factor to keep in mind when deciding whether to invest overseas or not.

If currencies fluctuate too much, they can wipe out earnings from foreign markets. When buying stocks in foreign markets, it’s necessary to use foreign currency. If those currencies go down compared to the dollar, that means any gains in the stock are negligible. Since ADRs remove this problem, they are a wonderful solution for Canadian investors.

Other solutions that minimize risk include investing in multinationals. This provides some exposure to foreign markets, without fully taking the plunge. Alternatively, some foreign stocks do meet listing requirements and are listed on NASDAQ and NYSE. However Canadian investors decide to make moves overseas, they need to balance risk and reward carefully. Getting acquainted with US markets may be a good first step into investing in other countries, as you’ll run into some of the same issues with currency, but it is much more accessible for the average Canadian.


When IPOs Flop

When IPOs Flop Romeo DiBattista Jr.png

When a privately held company first goes public and sells shares to the public, that’s known as an initial public offering. Some IPOs are legendary. Many banks, telecom and social media giants had record-setting IPOs that people still talk about today.

Not every company is so lucky. Even some highly anticipated IPOs don’t live up to expectations. Some of the biggest IPO flops date to the dotcom boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Many of these were innovative ideas designed to disrupt a dated way of doing business.

One of the best examples of an IPO gone wrong is During the late 1990s, launched as an online pet supply store. Though it had several competitors in the space, this company also had lots of momentum. Its mascot connected with customers in a big way, making it into the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

In the late 1990s, attracted investment from internet giants like Amazon. Its IPO in 2000 raised over $80 million. Yet this company still ran into trouble. Sales of staple products like bulk food were slow, in part because shipping was so expensive. Stock prices went from a high of $14 to a low of 22 cents. went bust just nine months after the IPO.

During the early aughts, Vonage was the biggest name in VOIP in the United States. The company was growing quickly, and attracted lots of investment. The downside of this rapid expansion was that Vonage struggled to scale up, losing money from 2001 to 2006. Vonage decided to raise money by selling stock.

The IPO raised over $500 million. On the surface, it looked like a success. However, Vonage had taken a new approach. In addition to offering shares to investment firms and qualified individual investors, Vonage offered shares to users. On the day of the IPO, a glitch for Vonage customers caused trouble.

Customers were told their transactions hadn’t gone through. Days later, charges hit their accounts. The charges were for the initial stock price of $17. However, in the time between the glitch and the finalized purchases, the stock had lost 30% of its value.

IPOs should be pursued with caution. These can be exciting investments, but they are notoriously hard to evaluate. Even companies with lots of momentum can have rocky IPOs.


How an IPO is Set Up

How an IPO is Set Up Romeo DiBattista Jr.png

When a company goes from private to public, that process is known as an initial public offering, or IPO. IPOs are a great way for companies to grow. Private companies have few investors. They may have been funded by the founders, some family members and friends. Some promising private companies may also attract angel investors.

An IPO is a great way for a company to level up. Selling new shares means there will be more money available to pay down debt and fund new research. Initial public offerings can also attract lots of media attention. They can also be a great marketing tool.

IPOs are also one way that founders and early investors in a company can monetize their own shares. By selling off some of their stock, they can transform the estimated value of their company into cold, hard cash for the first time. For example, when Facebook went public, Mark Zuckerberg sold some of his own shares and made over $1 billion.

The process for an IPO is fairly complicated and can take six months to a year. First, companies need to get at least an investment bank on board. Sometimes, multiple investment banks are involved. They may work together as a team, or each bank might work alone under their own power.

The next step is to meet with the SEC. Everyone must attend these meetings: lawyers, underwriters, company management and auditors. These meetings are crucial. They will determine the size of the initial public offering and how it is timed.

After this meeting, lots of due diligence is required. This includes market due diligence, legal due diligence and IP due diligence. When the due diligence is complete, the S-1 Registration Statement can be completed.

An S-1 Registration Statement is very detailed, including historical financial information, risk assessment and more. Once it’s ready, a pre-IPO meeting is held so bankers and analysts can learn about the IPO. This also educates them on how to sell it to people. A preliminary prospectus might also be prepared.

Market research is conducted to figure out how investors feel about the company, and what price they would be willing to pay. Managers will meet with investment bankers to settle on a final price. Then, shares are allocated to investors by investment banks, and the stock starts to trade publicly.


Entering the Competitive Field of Private Equity Investing

Entering the Competitive Field of Private Equity Investing Romeo DiBattista Jr.png

This article will explorer the challenges of entering the field of Private Equity Investing. This field has become a sought-after industry. As a result, it can be difficult to become an associate. To begin with, private equity firms look to hire entry-level staff who have a minimum of two years of experience as an investment banking analyst. In comparison to investment banks, associates that work at private equity firms are notorious for working long hours. This is common when they’re closing a deal.

Another qualification to become an associate is their education and training. In addition to the required experience is having a bachelor’s degree. The degree can be in finance, accounting, statistics, mathematics, or economics. It isn’t common for private equity firms to hire straight out of college or a business school. The exception is if the student had a private equity internship. Some private equity firms reach out to former management consultants to fill a position. Another commonality to fill a position within the firm is networking. Some companies have their preferred choice of headhunters to assist with fulfilling a vacancy.

A key factor to becoming considered for this small field is the expectation of handling the required duties. Together with experience, leadership is another major positive in any candidate. An associate will be expected to handle analytical model, portfolio company monitoring, reviewing CIMs (confidential information memorandum), and fundraising. From the aforementioned, the primary function that’s expected from the associate is to provide analysis to the principals and partners to make an informed decision about the deal. A common task would be setting up preliminary due diligence reports and modeling the expected growth forecasts.

Many people explorer the opportunity of entering this field, because of the salary and compensation. This is another reason for the competitiveness and difficulty of becoming an associate. It is not uncommon for first-year associates to make up to $250,000, and with a bonus of 25-50% off their base salary. The typical protocol for working your way up the firm is starting off as a Senior Associate, then Vice President/Principal, and finally as the Director/Partner.

In summary, a private equity associate is expected to participate in deals from inception to closing. The work is satisfying and financially rewarding.


Changes for Employees After an IPO

Changes for Employees After an IPO Romeo DiBattista Jr.png

When a company has an IPO (initial public offering), it means that the company is offering shares to the public for the first time. Companies can choose to go public for several reasons, such as they need capital, the company wants to invest in further growth. In some cases, they go public to allow owners to exit the company. While some of these might sound bad, it can actually be a very good thing for employees.

A perk for employees is that they might be given shares as compensation, or the chance to buy shares in the company.

After the IPO is in effect, the price of the share will likely rise, and the employee will have benefitted by purchasing the share at a much lower price. This rise gives employees an advantage if they choose to sell or keep their shares. If the company’s shares continue to do well in the market, then there is the possibility that the employees will be offered bonus shares at an advantage not given to the public. Tech companies are a prime example of an IPO working out extraordinarily well for employees, such as those who worked for Google and Facebook.

Employees should take advantage of shares offered, as it is a great way to make extra money, and there are virtually no downsides. These type of shares have even created millionaires.

While day to day operations will likely remain the same for general employees, those who work in finance and human resources will probably have a change in workload for a period. There will be new business complexities that will have to be implemented and honed to keep the company running smoothly. The company will also be responsible for SEC filing and complying with SOX.

There are some things that will change in the chain of command as well. A board of directors will be implemented into the company to ensure that decisions made will benefit the shareholders. This has the potential to change the leadership style and perhaps the workplace environment.

The company will also likely hire new employees to keep up with the demands that come with being a public company. So current employees can expect team growth.

In conclusion, going IPO will not change much for employees and can even be beneficial.


A Day In The Life Of A Private Equity Investor


A Day In The Life Of A Private Equity Investor Romeo DiBattista Jr.pngEquities trading can be a challenging and rewarding job within the financial industry. This brief blog gives prospective traders and other interested parties a peak into what a day performing said function might be like.

The Definition Of An Equities Trader

Someone employed in said position purchases and sells shares of company stocks available on the equities market. Those who succeed in this field often must perform specific duties on a regular basis that might include:

Staying On Top Of Financial News

Important financial occurrences can change on almost an hourly basis. Any such alteration could have a profound impact on a client’s financial portfolio. Therefore, equities traders will often devote significant amounts of time to staying abreast of all pertinent financial and economic news by reading noteworthy publications, magazines and viewing important financial news programs.

Searching For New Investment Opportunities

The volatility of financial institutions like the stock market often mandates that equities traders continually be on the lookout for new investment opportunities. Said opportunities might present themselves often. However, choosing which ones have the potential to yield a client the loftiest returns often requires significant research and, in certain instances, an innate ability to simplify and comprehend complex extenuating factors.

Reaching Out To Contacts

Equities traders frequently interact with contacts in the industry. In many instances, connections can alert said professionals to new and exciting investment opportunities.

Projecting Potential Returns

Many equities traders spend extended durations estimating investment profits for prospective or existing clients. It is important to reiterate that successful equities traders earn money for their client base. However, such investments come with a certain risk. Equities traders spend much time examining the investment portfolios of specific companies and entities and attempt to estimate how an investor can grow their wealth.

Weighing Pros And Cons

Formulating favorable portfolios, however, requires equities traders to wade through countless amounts if information and weigh the potential positives and negatives of a given investment. Said professionals often draw ultimate conclusions about a specific investment opportunity after considering factors like market volatility, the stability of a particular company, the client’s individual investment goals and financial aims, as well as how aggressive the client is (actually meaning how much money the client is either willing or is capable of losing if conditions change and the prospectus does not pan out as planned).


What to Expect When Your Company Goes Public

What to Expect When Your Company Goes Public Romeo DiBattista Jr.png

Bringing your company public is a big decision to make. While it can bring a large and sudden infusion of money to your operations, there are some things to consider. Everything from your company culture to your independence and agency as a business owner can shift with the decision to go public. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering making your business a public entity.

The first thing you can expect if your company goes public is a period of quiet. The process of becoming an IPO can be a long period, and there will be a long period where your company can’t speak about the terms. But you can expect an intense amount of interest from the press. The most frustrating part is the amount of speculation involved in this period, because much of this will be negative and ill-informed. And since those involved in the IPO process can’t say anything, that wild speculation will inevitably snowball.

The process of going public can also make businesses far more vulnerable to lawsuits. Since becoming an IPO suggests that the company is flush with funds, frivolous lawsuits are likely, and that can feed back into the media circus. Also exacerbating the problem is the fact that wealth managers and investment banks will start aggressively pursuing employees to offer them financial services. For owners and managers who understand the complexities of the change, it’s important to provide a sense of certainty to your employees who may have trouble separating the speculation from the truth. Having a strong HR department in place can do a world of good in the days leading up to the day of IPO.

Just don’t expect things to go back to business as usual as soon as the IPO is approved. Many employees will be spending wildly in expectation of how the stock will rise, and new rules will be put in place for who can access financial and user data. This lockdown period can last 90 to 180 days on average, so it’s important to maintain strong communications through every layer of your business.

Fortunately, the storm of miscommunications will eventually settle down after the lockdown period. Becoming an IPO can be a beneficial move for plenty of businesses, but it’s important to make sure that you provide your staff with the support and resources they need during these rocky months.